Experts tell us that statistically speaking, women live longer than men in the United States by an average of just over five years. Of course there is no way to know whether you will prove the life expectancy charts correct or not; however, it is best to have have your estate planning prepared just in case.
For many women who grew up before the 1970s, tradition dictated that the husband handled the major decisions and finances of the family. Sometimes, this results in the wife not involved in the details of their retirement or estate planning. This can become a problem if you do outlive your husband. For this reason alone, it is imperative that a woman understand what the retirement and estate plans call for.
More importantly, it is important for a woman to review her estate plan if she does outlive her husband. Events could make changes or revisions necessary. Likewise, new laws or changes in the tax code could call for revisions of an estate plan. For example, if your husband suffered from a serious illness prior to passing away it could have impacted your financial situation which, in turn, will impact both your retirement and your estate planning.
By the same token, family events such as births, deaths, marriages, or divorces, may call for you to make changes to your estate plan. Be sure that you sit down with your estate planning attorney and review your estate plan on a periodic basis to ensure that you have sufficient income to support you throughout your golden years and that your plan reflects the manner in which you want your assets passed down upon your death.
To learn more, read our article on “Five Things Everyone Woman Should Know About Estate Planning”
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